Thursday, March 14, 2013

Grief: Was That A Breeze of Happiness Blowing On My Neck?

I was on Madison Ave. which is the street in NYC that has a lot of high end fashion and jewelry stores.  I was looking in the window of Chopard at the most beautiful gemstones. Color and sparkle.I had been to my wonderful chiropractor Dr. Safko.  I don't get snapped.  They start by putting electrical stimulation pulses on my sore muscle places, cover me with a blanket with heat and leave me resting in a darkened room for ten minutes. With my muscles more supple, masage follows.  Then Dr. Safko does Active Release Technique and/or other stretches. In other words, my body was feeling good. I have to admit that in my bag I had a big cupcake.  I had read Celeste's letter (see the last post). As I was walking and window shopping I was thinking how lucky I was to love Artie and have him love me.

I felt a kind of lightness that I have not felt since Artie died.  I didn't know what it was.  I laugh a lot; I have a lot of happy moments.  However, there is always a kind of heaviness weighing me down.  Dead husband heaviness.  Longine, missing, loneliness for a specific person.  For a minute I felt as though I was a helium balloon floating above the clouds.  I was feeling happy.

I used to live in Phoenix, Arizona.  In the summer it can be 120 degrees.  At night it "cools down" to maybe 100 degrees.  One summer I went up to Flagstaff which is on higher ground and is much cooler.  I left my motel room window open.  I felt something.  I didn't know what it was.  Then I laughed.  It was a cool breeze.  I had forgotten what a cool breeze felt like. That is what this moment of happiness felt like - the unexpected, forgotten caress of a cool breeze after a long hard time.  It was like Artie was tousling my hair and kissing my neck.

I'd like to say that I welcomed it.  I did for a little while but then I poked it, analyzed it, stabbed it, punched it, threw it away.  I made a space for all the sadness and heaviness to come back.  I'm used to living this way.  It's as comfortable as it is uncomfortable.  The thing is - you can't really push away a breeze.  It comes back when it will.  It makes its own space and its own time. 

There is a poem by Li Young Lee that says (I have to find the exact quote) something about the very thing we do to survive keeps us from living.  I read that line and cried.  How does my grief still keep me from living?  It isn't a bad thing to survive.  We need to survive to live.  However, some of our coping mechanisms grow old and we cling on to them anyway. 

I've felt that light breeze of happiiness a couple of more times since that day.  I want to learn how to invite it in.  It's all part of the process of letting the joy of Artie's love and his love for life inspire me and be stronger than how diffiuclt every breath seems without him here with me in his old earthly form.  I'm not interested in losing my connections.  When I am present my past is part of my present and my presence.  I don't make letting go a necessary part of my reaching for complete aliveness. 

I think of my granddaughter Gwendy blue eyes - now almost 15 months old.  When she is happy she laughs.  When she is sad or frustrated she cries.  She delights in so many things but her delight doesn't stop her from expressing her other feelings very strongly. That's what we lose as we grow up. The ability to be intensely present with the wonder and awe as well as the tears and the shaking of the head while saying, "Nooooo".  (When she says no she makes the O part long and quavery.)'s to more moments of light breezes of happiness blowing our way.  And here's to the ability to enjoy them. Sometimes unbearable and happiness can be in the same phrase - and sometimes happiness can wander off by itself and stand alone.

Why bother to live?  Becasue we're alive. xo

No comments:

Post a Comment